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How to Practice Effective Hygiene if You Have Sensitive Skin, Allergies or Chemical Sensitivity


If you have allergies, chemical sensitivity or sensitive skin, even something as simple as washing your face can be irritating. This is because soaps, shampoos and other personal care products often contain a toxic slew of chemicals.

non-toxic personal care products

If you have sensitive skin or allergies, only use personal care products with a few simple plant-based ingredients.

Even for someone without sensitivities, everyday use of personal care products can lead to "chemical overload," which may cause allergies or disease, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

On average, the study found that an adult uses nine different cosmetics each day, with exposes them to about 126 chemicals!

"It is not just the fact that these chemicals are being absorbed through the skin that is worrying," says Lindsay McManus, an adviser on chemical sensitivity for Allergy UK on "Many of them are perfumed and the fragrance alone can contain 200 chemicals that need not be listed individually on the label, so people don't know what they are getting."

Inhaling fragrances alone can lead to nausea, fatigue and headaches, while other man-made ingredients can cause severe irritations in those with allergies.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid?

When you consider that 89 percent of ingredients in the personal care products you use everyday -- shampoo, soap, shave cream cosmetics, etc. -- have never been tested for safety, the question perhaps should be, what shouldn't I avoid?

If any of your personal care products contain the following ingredients, you could easily be triggering your symptoms:

  1. Phthalates: These industrial compounds are widely used in hairsprays, perfumes and cosmetics. Animal studies on certain phthalates have shown the chemicals may cause a variety of problems, including reproductive and developmental harm, organ damage, immune suppression, endocrine disruption and cancer.

  2. Parabens and Phenols: Used in toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, hair gels, body wash and more. According to the National Institutes of Health, phenol is toxic and people who are hypersensitive to it could experience death or serious side effects at very low exposures. Parabens have also been linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.

Soothing Hair and Body Wash For Those With the Most Sensitive Skin

Enviro-Rite Hair-Body Wash is a non-irritating, soy-based personal cleansing product suitable for use on both body and hair.

Reasons to Choose Hair-Body Wash:

  • Free of petroleum-based ingredients, fragrances, dyes and other common triggers for respiratory or skin irritations.

  • Designed by and for people with allergies, asthma and chemical sensitivities.

  • Very economical -- dual use for both hair and body!

  • Gives extra body to fine hair

  • Makes a great bubble bath

  • So gentle -- it's great for children too!

  • Earth friendly -- safe to take camping, non-toxic, breaks down safely and rapidly.

  • No animals were used in the testing of this product.
Enviro-Rite Hair-Body Wash
  1. Fragrance: About 95 percent of the chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic, petroleum-based compounds. For people with allergies or multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), these chemicals can lead to allergic reactions like sneezing, itchy watery eyes, wheezing and headaches.

    Other health conditions that can be exacerbated by fragrances, according to Tracie DeFreilas Saab, M.S., author of a comprehensive discussion, "Individuals with Fragrance Sensitivity," include asthma, environmental illness (EI) and migraines.

According to EWG, other ingredients of high concern, particularly to those with allergies, are:

  • Butylated Hydroxytoluene: Cancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Propylene Glycol: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Methylparaben: Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Tetrasodium EDTA: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Propylparaben: Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate: Harmful Impurities, Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Diazolidinyl Urea: Harmful Impurities, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Tocopheryl Acetate: Harmful Impurities, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Octyl Methoxycinnamate: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Octyl Salicylate: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Disodium EDTA: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Polyquaternium-10: Harmful Impurities, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Ceteareth-12: Safety Violations, Harmful Impurities, Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Ceteareth-20: Safety Violations, Harmful Impurities, Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Triethanolamine: Cancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Benzophenone-3: Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate: Penetration Enhancer, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Lactic Acid: Safety Violations, Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Benzyl Alcohol: Allergies & Other Health Concerns

  • Ethylparaben: Allergies & Other Health Concerns

What's SAFE to Use ... Even for Those who are Sensitive?

non-toxic personal care products

Did you know that "hypoallergenic" can mean anything the manufacturer wants it to? The only way to know if a product is safe is to read the ingredients label.

Only all-natural products will do, and this means inspecting the ingredient label of any product you purchase closely. Do NOT rely on the package's claims of "natural," "organic," or "hypoallergenic," as even these products can still contain dangerous ingredients. The term "hypoallergenic" can actually mean whatever a particular company wants it to mean, according to the FDA.

Some ingredients that are generally safe and very gentle on your body are:

  • Organic oils (such as olive oil)

  • Essential oils

  • Castile soap

  • Aloe vera

  • Plant extracts

And always avoid anything that lists "fragrance" on the label. Fragrance-free personal care products are much less likely to trigger a reaction.

Recommended Reading

The Most Toxic Soaps and Shampoos Well Worth Avoiding

What Dangers Can Perfumes & Other Fragrances Pose to Your Health?



Sources "The Shock Risk in Our Toiletries" August 22, 2004

EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database

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